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Home arrow newsitems arrow Greek European affairs Minister incoming CoE Chair Varvitsiotes to EF: Program+Turkey ="EU Shield"?

Greek European affairs Minister incoming CoE Chair Varvitsiotes to EF: Program+Turkey ="EU Shield"?

Written by ACM
Monday, 09 March 2020



*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- With an eye towards the Future Development of Human Rights, particularly of Young People (See Infra), but also Firmly anchored in Nowadays GeoPolitical Challenges, and particularly the Urgent Need to Protect EU's External Borders, facing even more Turkey's Smuggling of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular migrants, now at Evros river, (See: ..., etc), Experienced Greek Minister for European affairs, former Long-Time Top MEP, Miltiades Varvitsiotes, and incoming CoE's Chairman-in-office, spoke to "Eurofora" in Strasbourg, just after meeting with new CoE's Secretary General Marija Buric, former vice-Prime Minister of Croatia, and ECHR's President Alexandros Sicilianos, on the Draft Program of the forthcoming Greek Presidency of the PanEuropean CoE from May to November 2020, (See Infra).                       


+ Meanwhile, EU Parliament's plenary, (meeting exceptionaly in Brussels, reportedly because of "Coronavirus"' spread in France, after neighbouring Italy), is due to discuss, later this week, Ankara's unprecedented Provocations around Evros' Borders and those (Gas, Stones, Fires, Knives' abusing) Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants (mainly from Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc., often more than 13.000 per Day, according to the IOM+) that Turkish Authorities have reportedly Backed (including by Buses' Transports from Istanbul, 1.000 Turkish Security Agents send on the spot, relevant Statements, etc). Turkish President Erdogan already is in Brussels for meetings, since this Monday, just After launching a provocative Call for "Greeks" to "Open the Borders" (sic !) and "let  them go towards Other (EU) Countries" !... On the Contrary, the Greek Government has notoriously decided to stick to its Sovereign Right and Duty to Protect its National and EU's External Borders.



>>> - "Turkey Exploits innocent people, for its Political aims, and in order to Blackmail the EU !", criticized Varvitsiotes Today at Strasbourg, in reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question, speaking of a "Stern Denonciation against the Turkish stance" on Evros.

=> Therefore, "CoE" should be very "Careful" on the way that "Human Rights"' approaches might be grossly abused (manipulated) in such cases, and avoid to "fall into a (sly) Trap", he Warned.

>>> "In Front of that, a European Shield has been raised, at EU level", Miltiades Varvitsiotes pointed out.

- Indeed, "the Declarations of all European Institutions' Presidents (EU Commission, Parliament and Council) are Crystal-Clear, last week in Athens". "Justice and Home affairs (JHA) Ministers' declaration, as well as that of Foreign Ministers, is also very clear, as they were formulated". "And it's, moreover, pretty clear, Today's statement by EU's High Representative on Foreign and Security policy, Borel, in view of his meeting with the Turkish President (Erdogan)" in Brussels. So that, "all the Framework of this Resistance and (European) Shield is crystal-clear", he resumed.  

- However, "even if, here or there, might, eventually, be some who don't see well enough all those political facts, we try to Enlighten them, and God help us...", he realistically concluded, with a visible fighting spirit for any relevant Ideological battle whenever necessary...    

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+ But, at the same time, Authentic Human Rights issues are at the Forefront of the incoming Greek rotating Presidency of the CoE (May-November 2020), which coincides with the 70th Anniversary since the Signing of its PanEuropean Convention of Human Rights (1950 - 2020), inter alia, also by discussing its "Implementation" until now, as well as in the foreseable Future, according to a Key "Non-Paper", presented Today in Strasbourg to CoE's main Officials, and communicated also to "Eurofora" by the competent Minister Varvitsiotes. In Addition, the Greek Government has already proposed ECHR for the Peace Nobel Prize this year.

- Starting almost at the same Time as EU's exceptional "Conference on Europe's Future" (2020-2021), CoE's Greek Presidency of 5-11/2020 is due to be "Focused mainly on Young People", i.e. Forward looking, turned "towards the Future", Varvitsiotes observed.     

- "We should Cooperate impeccably" with CoE's Secretary General Marija Buric, inter alia, also because "I think that the Greek Presidency's main Priority on Young Generations Fits quite well with those of the CoE itself currently", since the PanEuropean Organisaton "has just (12/2019) outlined a Strategy for the period of 2020-2030" on Youth policy, "so that the fact that a rotating (Committee of Ministers') Presidency intends to Invest into that, is Important", he pointed out.     



=> - For the time being, "We (the Greek CoE's Chairmanship 5-11/2020) have traced 4 Axes in that : (1) First, Young People's involvement into DEMOCRATIC Institutions, their Protection from "Fake News", how to Augment their participation, issues about Artificial Intelligence, etc., and how that forms a Framework of Rights". (2) The Second concerns Problems of VULNERABLE persons : Poverty, Human Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation, UnAccompagnied Minors,  etc. (3) The Third part has to do with CULTURAL HERITAGE and its Protection and Maintenance despite Climate Change, as a Right for Young People to Enjoy that in Future" ; (4) And the Fourth Axis is related to the (CoE's) Charter of SOCIAL RIGHTS, vis a vis Young People".

+ In Parallel, "we also take a View on the Incorporation of ECHR's case-law into Member States", he added, (Comp. Supra), while praising ECHR's President Sicilianos as an "Excellent Jurist", "who contributed a lot" in that Program.

Significant of the Importance that the Greek Presidency attributes to Democratic Participation issues, is also the fact that Varvitsiotes met, Today, with CoE's Director General on Democracy Snezana Markovic, from Serbia, (while the above-mentioned "Non-Paper" adds a Reference also to "Digital" Technologies here, similar to "Eurofora"'s Project).

=> - "I think that all this forms a well-Structured Program, whose Issues, naturally, cannot be solved during a rotating chairmanship, neither exhausted, but they can he Highlighted, and joined to various relevant Initiatives", he concluded.

+ "Inter-Generational Solidarity : Important !"

 - "And, what about Aged People ?", "Eurofora" questioned Varvitsiotes, pointing, f.ex., at a previous EU Campaign in favour of "Inter-Generational Solidarity", (as it was nick-named), which had strived to Bring Together Young and Aged People, Near to eachother".

- In Reply, the Greek Minister slamed the Opposite, counter-example, of a Controversial Satirical Author who had portrayed Aged People as "Vampires", exploiting the Young through the Social Security/Pensions' system, and inciting the Youth to become a kind of "Canibals" against the Aged persons (sic !)...

=> "No", he reacted : On the Contrary, "Inter-Generational Solidarity is an Important matter. Both Politically, and Socially, as well as Substantialy", Varvitsiotes positively stressed to "Eurofora", (i.e. apparently accepting to Include it, in one way or another, inside the wider context of that Greek CoE's Presidency Draft Program).

+ Bio-Ethics : - "Keep an eye" ?

 - About "Childrens' Human Rights", Questioned by "Eurofora" about the current Popular Demonstrations and Protests, in France and elsewhere in the World, on the Controversy concerning the Child's elementary "Right to have a Mother and a Father", (reportedly emanating f.ex. from some UN-related official texts, etc), Opposite to some currently Controversial and UnPopular Attempts for certain Lobbies (f.ex. in France, etc) to exert Pressure on Politicians to accept Dangerous Artificial Births asked by Lesbians, inevitably Exposed to manifold Dangers of Genetic Manipulations, etc.,  Varvitsiotes carefully but positively Replied that, in principle, "we don't enter into such Issues", "But we Open spaces for Debate, where they could be Discussed, together with others"...         

+ Concerning "Bio-Ethics" in General, despite the currently "Hot" and Topical dimension of several among those Issues, (f.ex. on Heritable Genetic Editing, transmissible also to Future Generations, See: ..., etc), nevertheless, as things stand now (i.e. with that Draft "Non-Paper" on the incoming Greek CoE's Presidency's main "Priorities", drafted mainly by Ambassador Beglites in Strasbourg, as he told "Eurofora", in cooperation wtth several CoE's Officials, etc), "it appears Difficult" to include them inside that Draft Plan, Varvitsiotes acknowledged. However, given the Importance of the Issues, as well as his genuine personal Interest, that he had already shown while serving as Top MEP in CoE's Parliamentary Assembly during a Long Time), - "We shall Keep an Eye", whenever something really Important might emerge, during the (Greek CoE's Committee of Ministers) Presidency, he promised...











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An appeal to make the "World more Human", by defending basic Human Values, helping those in need, and paying hommage to Nature, figured high in Pope Benedict's long-awaited speech at his "First Angelus" in the symbolic, beautiful historic small town of Brixen/Bressalone at the Alpes.


- "No Dictature, nor any destructive force can rob us of the most important goods wich are God's gift", stressed Pope Benedict, referring to elementary Human Values, in a last-minute improvisation of his draft speech, before launching also a call to "help those in need", in order to "make the World more human".

- "Jesus is the focus .. In him is Justice and Freedom", said earlier Brixen's Bishop Wilhelm Egger, after prayers including calls to "Truth, Justice and Freedom", read at a Mass of thousands in the town of Archangel Michael, known as defender of christians against the devil.


In what looks as a reference to BioEthics' dillemas of crucial impportance, raised at Strasbourg's unique in the World legally binding International Treaty on BioMedicine and Human Rights (1998, with the "hottest" issues added later through additional protocols, some of whom are imminent), he spoke also of the splendid "Nature" at this Alpen's ressort : This fits well Vatican's earlier anouncement that Pope Benedict's "prayer intentions for August" are mainly to "respect God's design for the world", and "become ever more aware of the great gift of God which Creation represents for us".

- "The most important things in our lives cannot be bought, but are only given as holy gifts : The Sun and its Light, the Air that we breath, the Water, the beauty of Earth, Love, Friendship, Life itself", Pope Benedict added, extending also to Natural Environment, another topical issue after recent Climatic upheavals at several parts of the World.



The "preparation of Pope Benedict's visit to France", which currently heads the EU, at mid-September, among exceptionaly important Council of Europe meetings on Human Rights in Paris and Strasbourg, is part of his work, together with his "book on Jesus", during brief Summer Holidays in Brixen, said his Spokesman, Federico Lombardi.

- The Pope's message is mainly religious, theological. But we are living in a concrete world, and ideas may be taken by readers as references to the actuality. However, it's better to wait to se what the Pope will say in Paris and at Lourdes, added to EuroFora Lombardi, who is also Director of Vatican's Press Office.


Brizen/Bressanone is similar to Strasbourg by succeeding to make a fertile synthesis of Germanic and Latin sources of Europe, like the two local rivers who meet at the historical center of the town, among spectacular ressorts at mountains' hights.

Headquarters for an Historic Religious Seminar, it attracted recently also a Free University's Educational studies. Well-known as a long-time preferred rest place for former cardinal Radzinger and his brother Georg, it includes areas named "St Benedeto" and "St George"...


But Pope Benedict's first speech gave also another symbolic rendez-vous :

- "Next Wednesday, August 6, we shall commemorate the 30st anniversary from the death of late Pope Paul VI", who "concluded Vatican II", and "the Transfiguration of Jesus, mystery of the divine light, which exerced a unique fascination to his soul", he said to some 12.000 applauding People, among the happy few who succeeded to have a rare place for an open-air Mass inside the Domplatz a particularly sunny day at the Alpes.



2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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